I remember this ad perfectly. In the early ‘80s, a group called the “Partnership for a drug free America” was trying to scare us all about drugs…especially cocaine. 30 seconds of the scariest anti-drug ads ever made.
Watch it. Remember?
The fact is this ad is total bullshit. Yes, it is true if you lock a single rat in a cage by itself and offer it water or drug-laced water, it will drink the drug. And yes it is true if you put that same rat in a large group of rats, even after it almost killed itself on the drug-laced water, it will stop doing the drugs. It will drink water and so will all of the group of rats.
You see the rat has nothing to do but take the drugs. Any of us locked in a cage all alone, nothing else to do would probably take the watered drugs instead of the plain water. It’s not the drugs, it’s the connection and lifestyle.
The sooner we as a country learn this fact the quicker we stop being so damn stupid.
We should have learned about drug addiction after the Vietnam War. It was a fact that Time magazine documented. Heroin use was as common as chewing gum in Vietnam. Over 20% of servicemen were hooked on heroin in Vietnam. ( published in Archives of General Psychiatry) Everyone was petrified of all these junkies coming home. So what happened?
More than 95% of addicted veterans just stopped when they got home. When they returned to much happier circumstances. Just like the rats in a cage.
The truth is happening all around us in hospitals every day. Dozens of people are being critically injured and admitted to our local hospitals. They are immediately put on diamorphine for pain. This diamorphine is heroin and much purer with higher potency than any street junkie is shooting up. Do all those patients, tens of thousands all over our country, become addicts? Nope. In fact it is an extreme rarity for one patient to become addicted. They go home and they stop…period.
Addiction is not caused by chemical “hooks.” Or thousands of people leaving the hospitals would be trying to score heroin on the streets. No, the street junkie is just like the caged rat. They are bonded with the dope because they couldn’t bond with anything else.
Humans need to bond with something or someone. And they will. If they can’t connect to someone, it might be the whirring of a roulette wheel or a needle. I mean do you really think that a pack of cards have chemical hooks?
Portugal had the worse drug use in all of Europe. Over 1% of the population was hooked on heroin. They decided to stop their silly war on drugs and decriminalize all drugs. The money they saved on arresting, trying and jailing druggies they used to re-connect the druggies to themselves and to society. Very few of the junkies wanted that lifestyle and drug usage in Portugal is down 60%.
I just want us to get smarter someday.
But who believes in science anymore?